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Wednesday, June 19, 2024  
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Sri Lanka thrash Ireland by nine wickets at T20 World Cup

Wicket-keeper batter Kusal Mendis scored 68 runs in 43 balls
Sri Lankan players celebrate their win after the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2022 cricket match between Sri Lanka and Ireland at Bellerive Oval in Hobart on October 23, 2022. Photo: AFP
Sri Lankan players celebrate their win after the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2022 cricket match between Sri Lanka and Ireland at Bellerive Oval in Hobart on October 23, 2022. Photo: AFP

Opener Kusal Mendis hit an unbeaten 68 in 43 balls as Sri Lanka hammered Ireland by nine wickets in their opening Super 12 match at the Twenty20 World Cup in Hobart on Sunday.

Asian champions Sri Lanka kept Ireland to 128-8, a total they overhauled in 15 overs with Mendis hitting a six to win the match as they reached 133-1.

Spinner Maheesh Theekshana led Sri Lanka’s attack with 2-19 as they restricted Ireland to 128-8 in their opening Super 12 match at the T20 World Cup on Sunday.

Ireland, who qualified for the Super 12 stage by knocking out two-time champions West Indies, elected to bat on a chilly afternoon in Hobart.

But despite Paul Stirling’s 34 and Harry Tector’s 45 the Irish batting was disappointing.

Wanindu Hasaranga also took two wickets for Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka, who were stunned by Namibia in their first-round opener but bounced back to advance to the Super 12.

Pace bowler Lahiru Kumara took a wicket with his first ball, bowling Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie for one with the batsman paying the price for attempting an audacious ramp shot.

Stirling got a few boundaries to steady the Irish innings but partner Lorcan Tucker played one onto his stumps off Theekshana.

Stirling kept up the charge to get a four and six off Chamika Karunaratne and survived a reprieve on 28 after Kumara dropped a catch in the deep.

But Stirling did not get away from Bhanuka Rajapaksa who took a good running catch at widish long-off to give Dhananjaya de Silva a wicket in his first over, the ninth of the innings.

Tector hit back in a 47-run partnership with George Dockrell, who made 16, in his effort to up the scoring but Sri Lanka kept chipping away from the other end.

Theekshana broke the stand as he bowled Dockrell for 14 and after Binura Fernando denied Tector his fifty the batting caved in.

Hasaranga struck twice in the 19th over with his leg spin as a noisy contingent of Sri Lankan supporters celebrated with drums and music.

Ireland win toss, elects to bat

Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie won the toss and elected to bat against Sri Lanka as the two teams began their Super 12 journey at the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.

The Irish team comes into the second round with a giant-killing reputation after they knocked out two-time champions West Indies last week at the same venue in Hobart.

They have retained their winning team, which hammered the West Indies by nine wickets in round one.

Sri Lanka, which won the Asia Cup T20 tournament last month, made the Super 12 after a tough first round where they were stunned by Namibia in the tournament opener.

Batsman Ashen Bandara has been added to the team in place of Pathum Nissanka, who misses out due to a groin injury. Teams

Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (capt), Lorcan Tucker (wk), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Simi Singh, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little

Sri Lanka: Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Ashen Bandara, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (capt), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Binura Fernando, Lahiru Kumara

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